LaFayette rejects tree bid in close vote

By John A. Ballentine
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The LaFayette village board rejected a single bid for a tree removal project due to lack of proof of insurance by the bidder. The board held its monthly meeting Monday evening with just two agenda items listed. First was the tree removal and second concerned the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

An ash tree to be removed from village property in front of the Laten residence had been advertised for bids. One bid was received for that purpose from LaFayette resident, Jeff O’Bryant. O’Bryant’s bid for $400 was to remove one of two dead trees at the Laten location. That bid was rejected on a 3 to 2 vote because no proof of insurance was submitted with the bid.

Trustees Bethany Peterson, Rick Shipman and Clarence Wagher voted against the bid, while Larry Townsend and Vicki McRell voted in favor. Chris Smith was absent.

The discussion concerning the tree’s removal led the board to rebid the project, but now calls for both trees to be removed instead of one at a time. Previously, the plan was to remove one tree per month.

The Illinois open Meetings Act was addressed during the meeting. Tentatively, three board members, Village Clerk Robin Bartley, Trustees Clarence Wagher and Rick Shipman stated they will attend a Stark County Open Meetings Act seminar. The meeting is to be held at the Newsroom Bistro on Tuesday, August 22 at 6 p.m. A representative from the Illinois Attorney General’s office will conduct the seminar in conjunction with the Stark County State’s Attorney’s Office. If interested in attending, contact Ashley at the State’s Attorney’s Office, in Toulon.

An informative discussion concerning three waterline shutoff valves occurred, though no action was taken by the board. Contractor Dean Rosebecke, of LaFayette, will continue to repair the shutoff in approximately one week. It will be the second of three shutoffs to be repaired. The first shutoff was repaired several weeks ago.

The meeting was adjourned after 37 minutes. Next month’s meeting of the village board will occur on September 11 due to September 4 being the Labor Day holiday. It will commence at 6 p.m. at the village hall building.

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